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Evolution of Common Fragile Sites

  1. Anne Helmrich

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020747



How to Cite

Helmrich, A. 2008. Evolution of Common Fragile Sites. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Illkirch, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008


Common fragile sites are specific deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) breakage-prone genomic regions in all healthy humans. Their instability is provoked by replication stress combined with an escape of cell cycle checkpoints. Common fragile sites are favoured regions of chromosomal aberration formation in the neoplastic process. They are inherent parts of the genomes of all so far analysed mammalian species, and recent data support their existence also in yeast. The common fragile site locations are highly conserved between human and other primates as well as between human and mouse. There is no evidence of an involvement of common fragile sites as ‘hotspots’ in chromosome evolution.


  • common fragile sites;
  • chromosome aberrations;
  • replication;
  • evolutionary conservation